Search form

Login - Register | FOLLOW US ON

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Like father like monk: pagoda chief with a history of healing

Like father like monk: pagoda chief with a history of healing

120924 7d05

Umm Mean, the chief of Phnom Penh’s Tronum Chreng Pagoda, claims to have healed about 3,000 sick people. Photograph: Sou Vuthy/7Days

Um Mean has spent several years treating the legions of sick and infirm who come to visit him.

The 34-year-old chief of Phnom Penh’s Tronum Chreng Pagoda, Mean practices a tradition of healing which has carried back for four generations.

“The rituals I perform have been passed down since my great-great-grandfather, and the ability is gained by sucking on the big toe of the member of the previous generation for 30 minutes,” the clergyman says.

With a reputation as an effective healer, Mean estimates he has treated about 3000 people from Cambodia’s 24 provinces and further abroad. His specialty is helping those plagued by evil spirits, he says.

“People come from the provinces to see me here,” he says. “Meanwhile, there are some Khmer people from abroad like France, USA, and Australia who also come to see me.”

Mean claims to have helped cure the crippled daughter of a senior government official. In return, he says the official suggested that Mean take her daughter’s hand in marriages a sign of gratitude, an offer which the monk politely declined.

“Sure, I helped to cure the daughter of Her Excellency. She often asked me to leave the monkhood to be her son-in-law too,” he says.

Luan Vay, a 76-year-old villager from Kandal province, says she has spent a lot of time travelling around the country seeking a cure for her illness through both religious and medical means.

She says she appreciates how much better she felt after staying at Tronum Chreng Pagoda for 10 days under Um Mean’s care.

“After my children brought me here, I felt better; I can sleep well, I eat more and from one day to another I feel good,” she says.

Young Kampong Speu villager Sam Leak also appreciated the monk’s services. 

“My parents spent lots of money to cure my sickness,” he says. “But it was impossible to recover. However, I came here for only three days to get treatment, and I already feel better.”


To contact the reporter on this story: Sou Vuthy at




Please, login or register to post a comment

Latest Video

Explore the durian and rubber farms of Kampong Cham

Take a drive north of Kampong Cham, past the dirt roads and the dense greenery.

Kem Sokha talks politics, power and Hun Sen

Kem Sokha, leader of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, sat down with The Post’s Alex Willemyns and Mech Dara to discuss his supporters’ initial disappointment with this year’s

NEC officials tally votes during a recount last week in Phnom Penh.

Cambodia’s National Election Committee last week rejected 33 of 61 complaints filed over the conduct of June 4’s commune election, according to a s

Comfrel Executive Director Koul Panha speaks to the press at a meeting yesterday in Phnom Penh.

As the National Election Committee launched into the recount proc